Activision drops out of ESA, four other publishers to not attend E3 this year

E3 may not be as complete this year with several publishers missing - Image 1Normally, a major event such as E3 would have all the big name companies attending it.  This year will be different, though, as five publishers have decided to drop out of the event altogether. Part of the reason may be due to reported bad blood between them and ESA president Mike Gallagher. More on this after the jump.

The new ESA president Mike Gallagher - Image 1Yesterday, we reported that Activision wouldn’t be attending this year’s E3 event. Now it turns out that the company has left the ESA altogether.  What’s more, four other publishers have also decided not to show up at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Besides Activision, the other publishers are Vivendi, NCsoft, Her Interactive and id Software. NCsoft stated that its decision not to attend was based on the development cycle of its games and not because of the ESA or its leadership. The others have yet to state their reasons for not attending.

Analyst Michael Pachter believes that the publishers may be displeased with current ESA president Mike Gallagher’s decisions. The analyst pointed out the timing of this year’s E3 as an example, stating that it was most inopportune given the schedules of Activision’s and Vivendi’s fiscal quarters.

Of particular interest to note is how Pachter compared Gallagher with his predecessor, Doug Lowenstein:

Lowenstein was a very savvy industry veteran who paid attention to the goings-on in the industry and cared what the community had to say. The new person, whose name completely escapes me because I’ve never met him or heard from him, is far less knowledgeable and sophisticated about this industry than Doug was and is going to make some rookie mistakes.

I would guess that Activision doesn’t perceive the same value from the ESA as they did under Doug’s leadership. I criticize [Gallagher’s] lack of drive to learn about the industry.

And what does Activision have to say about it? While the company didn’t comment on Gallagher’s leadership, it did make this statement:

After careful consideration, Activision has decided not to renew its ESA membership for business reasons and will not be participating in any official E3 activities. We appreciate the work that the ESA has done over the years in promoting the interactive entertainment industry with state and federal governments and wish the ESA best of luck with the show.

For those of you who will be missing Activision’s presence at E3 this year, here’s good news: Activision confirmed with Kotaku that it will be holding an event of the first day of the show, just not at the E3 convention center itself. Stay tuned for more updates as we get them.

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